Meditation; the Oxford Dictionaries defines meditation as "Think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation."
For many of us the idea of focusing our mind seems impossible, but I want you to think of it like any other exercise; with practice you get stronger and better. In the words of Dr. Hedy Kober, a neuroscientis. "It did to my mind what going to the gym did to my body -- it made it both stronger and more flexible,".
Before we look at why we meditate, let's look at how.
How to meditate:
In the beginning I recommend finding a quiet place to meditate. As you get better at it you will find the ability to meditate in the midst of chaos and be able to use it as a tool to center yourself, but for now pick a quiet place and avoid distractions.
Close your eyes; this helps with distractions
Breathe naturally. Breathing exercises are another component of meditation, but to start off with focus on just learning to still your mind. As you breathe normally observe your breathe. Observe the sound and the feel and feel yourself relax. As you become more experienced you can add in deep breathing practice.
Once you are settled in you have options of how you want to meditate.
I often meditate prayerfully, just being calm and aware. As I relax more I begin to let my mind calm down and feel my body release tension.
You can focus on your body, recognizing areas of tension. Try a different position if you need to and give yourself permission to relax those areas.
You can focus on your breathe paying attention to how it feels and sounds. When your mind wanders this is a great way to bring your mind back into focus and off of the world around you. Listen to the sound in...out...in...out.
You can focus on your emotions, do you need to let things go. How do you feel?
These are just a few ways to get you started. I encourage you to do some research and find a method that works for you. Keep in mind even 1 minute of meditation has benefits.
Why should we meditate?
The body of evidence on the importance of meditation is growing rapidly within the medical community and mental health communities and we are all starting to pay attention and you, the every day average Joe or Jane can do it! Here is some of what science is finding:
lower blood pressure
improved blood circulation
lower heart rate
lower respiratory rate
lower blood cortisol levels
more feelings of well-being
decreased heart rate and strength of contraction of the heart muscle
less oxygen demand, lessening workload on the heartdecreased rate of breathing
increased lung capacity
increased hemoglobin (ability of blood to carry oxygen)feelings of calm and tranquilityhealthy immune system
May help with addiction, eating disorders, cognitive function and more!
These seem like excellent reasons to meditate! Remember health is not just what you eat and how you move, but how you think and act or react as well.
Here is a great scientific look at meditation from Huffington Post.
Lisa is and Independent Shaklee Distributor and received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others. To learn more visit http://yieldingaction.com
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